Kostas Antetokounmpo

Kostas Antetokounmpo Signs With French Team

JULY 16: Antetokounmpo has signed a two-year deal with Asvel in France, according to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando.


JULY 2: Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo is nearing a five-year contract with Olympiacos in his native Greece, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The news was first reported by FOS Online, which adds that Antetokounmpo has agreed to accept the offer from Olympiacos.

At 23, Kostas is the youngest of the three Antetokounmpo brothers in the NBA. He appeared in 15 games for L.A. this season on a two-way contract and averaged just 3.7 minutes per night, scoring 0.8 points and collecting 1.3 rebounds. This was his second season with the Lakers after being claimed off waivers from the Mavericks in 2019.

Antetokounmpo was taken by the Sixers with the final pick in the 2018 draft and was traded to Dallas on draft night. He signed a two-way contract with the Mavs, but played in just two NBA games before being released.

He is currently representing Greece in this week’s Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

Western Notes: Doncic, K. Antetokounmpo, Ibaka, Warriors

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was available to play in Game 4 against the Clippers on Sunday night, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported he would. Doncic suffered a strained neck in Game 3 and his status was uncertain at the time.

“It’s just weird,” Doncic said of his injury, which also caused some pain in his left arm. “Just some massage, some ice and hopefully it will be good.”

Doncic has played some of the best basketball of his career this series, averaging 38 points, 8.7 rebounds and nine assists through three games. He’s also shot 52% from the floor and 46% from behind-the-arc.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Lakers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo has been attending to a personal matter in Greece, explaining his recent absence from the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Antetokoumpo is currently on a two-way contract with the club. There’s optimism that he could return if the Lakers advance past the Suns in the first round, the duo notes.
  • Clippers big man Serge Ibaka missed Game 4 due to lingering back soreness, as first reported by Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Ibaka has provided valuable production when healthy, averaging 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 41 games this season.
  • The Warriors still have a ways to go before returning to contention, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball News. Golden State played without Klay Thompson (torn Achilles’ rehab) this season, though Thompson is expected to return for 2021-22. The team would have its championship trio of Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green to build around for the future.

California Notes: Poole, Kostas, Smailagić, Walton

As the Warriors strive to make a return to the playoffs, they owe it to themselves to give young reserve guard Jordan Poole more minutes, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area opines. Poole can provide some ball-handling for the second unit, a skill that is not a strength for his fellow backup guard Brad Wanamaker. With a 19-18 record, the Warriors are currently the No. 10 seed in the crowded Western Conference, which would qualify them for the play-in portion of the 2021 playoffs.

After Jordan Poole outperformed expectations playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League Orlando “bubble,” Monte Poole believes the time has come for him to get extended run spotting Stephen Curry in the second and fourth quarters during the All-Star point guard’s allocated rest breaks. Poole averaged 22.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 3.5 APG across 11 games (all starts) with Santa Cruz.

There’s more out of California:

  • Lakers reserve forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, who signed his second two-way contract with Los Angeles during the offseason, has entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Center Marc Gasol remains away from the team in coronavirus protocols as well.
  • Warriors forward Alen Smailagić has been recalled from Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced in a press release. Smailagić averaged 7.5 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 10 games for Santa Cruz.
  • While Kings head coach Luke Walton‘s job remains safe entering the second half of the 2020/21 season, Sacramento’s roster may undergo some changes with the March 25 deadline fast approaching, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

L.A. Notes: Horton-Tucker, LeBron, AD, COVID-19, Mann

With his second consecutive impressive preseason performance on Sunday, second-year Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker is making a strong case to be part of the team’s regular season rotation, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes.

“It’s going to make my job difficult for sure,” head coach Frank Vogel said when asked about finding a role for Horton-Tucker, who poured in 33 points in Sunday’s win to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

“We have a very deep team. No minutes are guaranteed,” Vogel added. “He’s going to keep playing at a high level, and that should push everybody else to stay playing at a high level. It does give us that luxury of having him carry the load some for some of our guys who played deep in the championship run last year and had a short offseason.”

Even if the Lakers stay relatively healthy this season, the club should prioritize finding regular minutes for Horton-Tucker, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says the franchise will need to develop young talent if it wants to remain a title contender for years to come

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles-based teams:

  • Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t play at all during the team’s first two preseason contests, but they’ll both be “ready to go” when the regular season gets underway next week, according to Vogel (link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times).
  • Both the Lakers and Clippers were missing players on Sunday due to “excused absences” believed to be related to the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Those absences may be related to inconclusive tests or contact tracing, so they don’t necessarily mean the individual tested positive for COVID-19, according to Greif, who notes that the Lakers were without Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok, while the Clippers were missing Reggie Jackson and assistant coach Chauncey Billups.
  • Although Terance Mann has seen some time at shooting guard and small forward, the Clippers view the 24-year-old as a point guard and expect him to be a key contributor off the bench, as Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.

Lakers Re-Sign Kostas Antetokounmpo To Two-Way Contract

The Lakers have brought back forward Kostas Antetokounmpo on a new two-way contract, the team announced today.

Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s younger brother spent the 2019/20 season with the Lakers on a two-way deal. Although he logged just 20 total minutes in five games at the NBA level, Kostas was a full-time starter for the South Bay Lakers in the G League, averaging 14.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 1.3 BPG on 62.3% shooting in 38 games (25.5 MPG).

The Lakers didn’t issue Antetokounmpo a qualifying offer before last week’s deadline, so he would’ve been free to join any team in unrestricted free agency. But he’ll return to the club instead, alongside fellow two-way player Devontae Cacok.

[RELATED: 2020/21 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

In bringing back Antetokounmpo and Cacok, the Lakers are one of two teams not turning over either of their two-way slots. The Celtics (Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters) are the other.

World Cup Notes: Kuzma, Barnes, Belinelli, K. Antetokounmpo

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma helped his bid to earn a World Cup roster spot in Team USA’s exhibition opener, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Playing in front of front of a partisan crowd in Anaheim that chanted for him every time he touched the ball, Kuzma contributed seven points, five rebounds and three assists in Friday’s win over Spain.

Kuzma is considered on the bubble to make the final roster, even after a series of big-name stars pulled out. He says he’s following the orders of coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr, who have asked him to contribute in non-glamorous parts of the game such as defense, rebounding, getting loose balls and making the right decision when the ball is in his hands.

“I’m not one to really grade my performances, but I think my energy was at a high level,” Kuzma said after the game. “That’s the only thing I can really control.”

There’s more World Cup news to pass along:

  • Defections of top talent have led to skepticism about whether this version of Team USA can bring home a gold medal, but Harrison Barnes tells Marc Spears of ESPN that the players are using that as motivation. De’Aaron Fox and P.J. Tucker were the latest players to announce that they’re leaving the team“We hear the noise,” Barnes said. “It’s just about the 14 guys that we got here right now, and when we go to Australia (for exhibition games), it’s about just us, getting better, continuing to grow closer on and off the floor, and we’ll go from there.”
  • Italy is adopting a similar attitude about being ranked 11th in the field, relays Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Spurs guard Marco Belinelli explained the team’s mindset in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve seen it on Instagram and immediately took a screenshot, saving it on my phone”, Belinelli said, “We’re not in the top 10, I’ll keep it as motivation. We have to grow as a team, both on offense and defense, and help each other out on the rebounds.”
  • Kostas Antetokounmpo has been cut from the Greek squad, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The move leaves the team with just two Antetokounmpo brothers, Giannis and Thanasis. It has been an eventful summer for Kostas, who was waived by the Mavericks last month and claimed by the Lakers.

Lakers Claim Kostas Antetokounmpo

The Lakers have claimed forward Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Antetokounmpo will head to Los Angeles on a two-way contract.

Antetokounmpo, the younger brother of Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, was waived by the Mavericks last week after appearing in just two games with the team. He spent most of the 2018/19 season with Dallas’ G League affiliate, holding per-game averages of 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Antetokounmpo was selected No. 60 overall by Philadelphia in the 2018 draft, ultimately getting dealt to Dallas later that night. He’ll join undrafted Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell as current Lakers players on two-way deals.

Mavs Waive Kostas Antetokounmpo

The Mavericks have waived forward Kostas Antetokounmpo, according to a team press release.

The brother of league Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo had a two-way contract with the Mavs.

Daryl Macon holds the other two-way deal with Dallas. With Antetokounmpo out of the picture, Penn State alum and shooting guard Josh Reaves may have his contract converted a two-way deal. He agreed to sign an Exhibit 10 deal earlier this summer.

The 6’10” Antetokounmpo was chosen by the 76ers late in the second round of the 2018 draft. Dallas acquired him in a draft-night deal. He saw action in two games last season, making his NBA debut on March 20 in Portland.

“We are excited for Kostas to pursue other professional opportunities,” Mavs GM Donnie Nelson said in a statement. “Kostas worked very hard to improve his game and we are proud to have been a step in his development.”

Antetokounmpo played in five summer league games in Las Vegas this month, averaging 5.8 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 13.5 MPG.

The brothers are expected to play for Greece in the FIBA World Cup.

And-Ones: Trades, Antetokounmpo, World Cup

Jae Crowder would be a nice contingency plan for the Warriors should they lose Kevin Durant in free agency, Kevin Pelton contends in a piece for ESPN+. Pelton argues a deal that sends Crowder, who has one year left on his contract, to Golden State for Shaun Livingston and a future first-rounder makes sense for both sides.

Other ESPN insiders write about the trade they’d like to see this summer, with Bobby Marks breaking down a Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade that sends Eric Gordon to Philadelphia and Clint Capela to Sacramento. The whole piece is worth checking out.

As we brace for an offseason of change, let’s take a look at some notes from around the league:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo will play for Greece in the Basketball World Cup, according to Demetris Nellas of the Associated Press“Whether I play the 1 [point guard] or the 5 [center], I don’t care,” the NBA MVP said. “I’m a basketball player. I want to help the team any way I can.”
  • The NBA has announced that the Academy Games will be in the United States for the first time in history. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com provides a detailed look at the games in Atlanta, relaying that the camp will feature eight teams and approximately 90 players from around the world.
  • Isaiah Whitehead will play for the Trail Blazers‘ Summer League team, The Athletic’s Michael Scotto relays (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks have announced their Summer League roster and former first-rounder Cameron Payne is among the notable players. Kostas Antetokounmpo, the brother of Giannis, is also playing for the team in Las Vegas.
  • Semaj Christon will play for the Kings‘ Summer League team, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia tweets.
  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox has been invited to join Team USA’s Select Team, which will hold training camp in Las Vegas this summer, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports passes along (Twitter links). Nets center Jarrett Allen has also been invited.

[In case you missed it: Team USA Announces 20-Player Roster For World Cup]